Economic reforms, economic recovery or any sense of economic growth?
In international arena?
In foreign policy we have to move away or move forward from Sharm-el-Sheikh and Nuclear deal to other more pressing issues like wars, oil, energy, climate change and UN reforms and much more issues of the day.
India has a place in the sun?
Manmohan Singh at best diffident. Now, his more diffident approach is not taking India anywhere. There is not visibility for India now. Be it in the current Indo-Pakistan thaw, yest it is more like a persuasive approach but then it lacks some substance and public engagement.
Now, after the Home Minister’s visit to the USA to seek US intervention in Indo-Pakistan relations, it looks like a blind shot and one doesn’t know where the invitation to the USA in such a delicate and complicated affair would take India from now onwards.
In the domestic area the Prime Minister seems to have left the concerned spheres almost to the dominant players like Mr.Mukerjee and Chidambaram and Sharad Pawar and others.
The more the noisy and pushy the ministers the more happier the PM is to leave matters at that.
And what is the Prime Minister’s contribution to the nation? To nation-building and much else?
It looks the use of the PM as a self-effacing second-hand person for the party president and as a trouble shooter of sorts for so long, the utility of the person seems to be over or getting eroded in the very changing circumstances.
The world doesn’t stand still. There are issues and opportunities and challenges. That is how politics is always.
Time was when Manmohan Singh was looked upon as the man most needed to pull the economy out of the deep abysis.
Now, the global meltdown had taken away the sheen of the economic policies pursued by India so far.
At best, the Indian government must be telling the people or educating them and enlightening them about what is happening to the economy, the world economy or the Indian economy.
There is no one now to undertake such a task of educating the public.
We have just to look up to the USA and the leadership of Barack Obama to see how he comes forward to fight for his convictions on the US healthcare plan.
Obama’s address to the joint session of the US Congress is an inspiring address. He goes on and on, faces resistance, boos and heckles and yet there he is, hectoring and even threatening and even taking a dogged stand on what he believes to be the best way forward for the country.
He is on the side of the poor and the sick and that evokes universal sympathy.
In India, we don’t seem to have anything to inspire the people.
What are this aam aadmi talk, sheer irresponsibility and sheer cynicism, if we can say so?
Where is growth taking place in India? In the villages or in the cities?
The corporate sector is also caught up in family quarrels or in the more intractable issues, from West Bengal to Orissa to other states where the question of land acquisition for industrial projects are all caught up in lack of consensus or opposition within the allies themselves.
There is no sign that the Prime Minister is capable of bringing the states together, both the ruling party run and the opposition run states into some such forwarding looks policy consensus.
The Tatas, the Mittals, the Koreans and the Vedanta projects, huge investments are all stalled.
What is the thinking at the PMO?
No clue or no thinking at all, it seems?
In international arena, India lost out in many lucrative deals as selling HAL Dhru helicopter to Bolivia or the investment by Jindal Steel? Essar refinery project in Iran. Reliance backing out from Iran.
Our agriculture, our Achilles Heal!
Now, our own critical area, our own Achilles Heal!
We mean our agriculture where the whole truth of India’s poverty and poor are concentrated and for which this government has no clue in our view.
Politics and democracy is not about routine administration and bureaucracy. Politics and democracy is all about how to reach out to people at the grass roots and how people at the grass roots reach out to the leaders, at various levels.
Now, there doesn’t seem to be various levels. Only one level. Delhi and the villages.
In between there is no structure, no interaction and no communication.
What is really happening in agriculture?
A very contradictory situation indeed.
In fact, as per the experts statistics, there is a healthy agri export market emerging. Fine. But we have a paradoxical situation when there are vast areas of sugarcane land and yet farmers are not willing to cultivate cane (at least in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, if not Maharashtra, UP we are not sure) and the irony is that we have a sugar baron agriculture minister
who talks one day about importing sugar, another day he is banning rice exports and the very next day he changes the very same stance.
What has happened to India as the number one sugar producer and exporter?
What has happened to India as a reliable rice exporter? Wheat exporter?
One the one side the very same PM says there are enough food stocks for the next one year. Fine but what about our stable agriculture policy?
In agriculture, the UPA government is not a great achiever, there are so many flip-flops, and we have the most distressing phenomenon of farmers suicides continuing and after Vidharba, another Vidharba emerging in Madhya Pradesh.
Another irony is the reports about the continuing malnourished children’s photos and even deaths. What a shame, we feel like asking.
Yes, it is a shame, the unspoken side of the rural realities.
We are not sure the utility of this kind of Prime Minister and the total disconnect with the Indian countryside.
We need leaders who can travel and interact and inter-0mingle with the masses of the rural India and there is a sort of feedback back and forth from the top, from the bottom to the top.
Much more disturbing is the foreign scenario.
We don’t know whether the PM is a foreign affairs expert. So far the report card is not anything flattering.
There are areas, from Iran to Iraq, Afghanistan to Pakistan to China. we have lots of question marks and anxieties.
The PM gives a picture of diffidence on a range of issues.
He of course doesn’t give a sense of India’s own past history of an independent foreign policy. Of course, in a complex world like mours and at the present juncture when we have a US President like Obama, we have to take into account the wider impact of any line of our foreign policy in any sphere, militarily, economically and socially.
But we can always take the soft power approach in various ways.
There is no such evidence.
It is all bureaucracy, bureaucracy and bureaucracy-run and driven foreign policy approach.
This is not, to say the least, in keeping with India’s own self-image, as a peace-pursuing and a peace-committed large world democracy.
There is a sense of reluctance on the part of this government led by Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi (let us be frank about the limitations of such a dual leadership and a real leadership vacuum at the top) and this inhibits India realising its full potential as a great nation.
Our intention is not offend any one’s, individuals sensibilities, but to sensitise the Indian public opinion as where we are losing out and where we are also losing out the precious time and opportunities for the country and for the world to gain by proper leadership on crucial questions of the day.
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